Oral Language

In the U.S., English teachers define their responsibilities as teaching reading, writing, listening, and speaking. One of the common practices in teaching oral language (speaking) is to assign regular public speaking projects. Students might research a topic, then prepare a presentation which is shared with their class. I see these …

Book Suggestion

Yesterday, I worked with students at Berg VGS here in Oslo; Karianne had asked me to introduce students in two of her classes to immigrant literature. I started out with a chapter from Sandra Cisneros’s The House on Mango Street, “Geraldo No Last Name.” Stories by Cisneros are included in …

Double Entry Journals

I’m about to share one of the best “tricks” I have as a teacher: the double entry journal (DEJ). Over the years, I’ve noticed that sometimes students don’t prepare for class. They don’t do the assigned reading or they do it on a cursory level without really engaging with the …

Pre-Reading Activity

When I moved to California, I had to take a reading class in order to get a teaching credential. I enrolled at California State University, Long Beach and went to class there one night a week after I’d finished a full day of teaching. Luckily, my professor knew her audience …

Stamps

My friend Deborah Dean describes a great writing assignment in her book Strategic Writing. As I’ve talked to teachers here in Norway, I’ve thought about an interesting adaptation for foreign language teachers. A number of teachers that I’ve met here in Norway ask their students to do a research report …

SII 2008

We’ve just finished the first week of the San Joaquin Valley Writing Project’s Summer Invitational Institute (SII) 2008. It’s been such a great week. Imagine a group of accomplished, intelligent, generous, kind, collaborative teachers–that’s what we have this year. Each of our 14 fellows has already contributed so much. From …